Toronto, ON---Over a track rated ‘sloppy,’ Avatartist and driver/co-owner Mike Saftic took the lone $15,000 division of the second leg of the Valedictory series on Friday (Dec. 20) at Woodbine.
|New Image Media Photo|
|Avatartist won the lone Valedictory division in 1:54.2.|
With the victory, the son of Rocknroll Hanover stamped his way into the rich $33,900 final on Boxing Day (December 26), which holds a special 1:00 p.m. first-race post time.
The field was narrowed down from 12 to eight starters due to weather and track conditions.
Saftic urged Avatartist off the gate and quickly gained command well before the opening quarter in 26.3. Longshot Trys Little Prince (Anthony MacDonald) was in the pocket with Mr Why (Wayne Mac Lean) sitting third.
Avatartist continued to lead past the half in 56.4 and three-quarters in 1:26.
Turning for home, Trys Little Prince edged to the outside, but couldn’t match strides with Avatartist as he went on to score the win in 1:54.2. Trys Little Prince stayed for second, while race favorite Americhi (Mike Vanderkemp) came from off the pace to finish third.
William Hill, Peter Harrison and James Walker are also involved in the ownership on the pacer.
Trained by Garth Gordon, Avatartist celebrated his seventh career tally as his bankroll now sits at $79,220.
He paid $7.50 to win.
The series is for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings that are non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of midnight, October 31, 2013.